Deep Breath

You may want to take two.

Tomorrow marks one year in Seoul. This means 365 days ago I had just returned from my honeymoon and was checked into the bridal suite at The Allerton for one last night in the windy city that brought so much to my life.

The adventure that has been the last year of my life has been nothing short of incredible. My first year of marriage, my first experience living overseas, my first international position, and my first time getting to write about my life in a meaningful way.

There were definitely days that were tough, but I cannot count how many times I had to ask myself if things were too good to be true. The amazing part was they weren’t, not even close, it was all very real and happening to me. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say I was not letting anything just pass me by.

Unfortunately, today I have some news that I would give anything to pass up and I despise thinking it could be true. I was not sure how to write about this, but like everything else I have posted here, I intend to do it honestly. 

My first reaction was to keep it from the readers of my blog, this is supposed to be for fun; but that felt wrong and weird and I wasn’t sure what I would even write about if I tried to ignore it.


Take a deep breath. Here is goes……yesterday, I was diagnosed as having a pituitary adenoma. 

In English?

A brain tumor.

This past month, I knew in the pit of my stomach something was not right. And when I mentioned in my last post we had a slow start to 2011, I meant SLOW. So when I heard the news yesterday, as horrible as it was, it was if a mystery was solved and I almost felt relief. They found it early enough AND it is treatable.

In fact, in the way of a brain tumor ( there is no other I would choose. 99.9% of the time they are benign and usually people live long lives having them and never even know it. Mine however, is large enough to be affecting my vision and my hormone function (I look forward to telling you how you know if you have a brain tumor in case you have ever wondered). While it needs to be removed and I will undergo brain surgery, it is non-invasive and should be taken care of within the next couple months. 

I know this is probably catching you off guard and reading incredibly dramatic (imagine being ME). I promise to share the details over time. In fact, I believe I will need to in order to stay sane and manage keeping connected. But for now, I have to focus on what comes next and quite frankly, putting one foot in front of another. Andrew and I are making decisions on where to go for treatment, getting second and third opinions, and determining how it will logistically unfold.  

I have been once again reminded what a strong set of parents, brothers, and besties I have in my life. And Andrew, my sweet Andrew, I know together we will get through this. I have no doubt about it. Deep breath.

22 responses to “Deep Breath

  1. mary….oh mary…tears here from menlo park

  2. Oh Mary- Thinking of you and sending lots and lots of prayers. Wow what big news to start 2011, please let us know if there is anything we might be able to do to help- we have some contacts with doctors at UCSF and Stanford. Sending you love!!! -The Heffs

  3. Dear SuperSeoulSisterHero, You are handling yourself with such grace, humor and positivity. I’m so happy and proud to be your friend. Roll with all that good energy and call me if you need anything. xo S

  4. Our dear Mary, I am so glad you chose to share this. How else could we all wrap our virtual arms around you and ask every day for your healing? Know that you are surrounded in love every step of the way.

  5. Mary and Andrew there is a circle of love and prayers….and you are right in the middle! Hold tight to each other. We love you. M & V

  6. Praying for you Mary!!

  7. Oh Mary! So sorry to be reading this…. I cannot imagine how incredibly frightening this all must be! Like I have said before, you are one the STRONGEST and most AMAZING women I have even known! This too shall pass! You will be in my thoughts! Please keep us updated on what’s going on! Love you lots girly!

  8. Mary, just the way you provided us this news speaks volumes of how you will surmount this one of life’s problems. Your prompt healing and recovery will be our constant prayer until it is accomplished.

  9. Dear Mary and Andrew,

    I am so sorry to hear about your health news. All will go well. I am glad to hear that the recovery rate for your condition is so high! Please let everyone know where you decide to have your surgery. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


  10. Mary –
    We will definitely be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. I know this is my first comment on your blog, but I have been keeping up with you through this for a while now. Hugs!

    Sonya (Wohltman) Reis

  11. Mary,

    I am also grateful that you are sharing this. I hurt for you along with the hope and trust that in the end, you’ll be just fine. So so relieved you have Andrew and a strong, positive spirit, we can all worry a little less.

    Thoughts and love from Lake View too…

  12. Oh Mary, this took my breath away. I am so, so sorry to hear that you’re going through this. I think you’ll be glad you shared this on the blog, even if you’re not sure right now…you’ll have people praying for you all over the world!


  13. Mary and Choq…we are thinking of you both and wishing you the speediest of recoveries. Please let us know if there is ANYTHING we can do to help. It’s certainly no fun to deal with medical issues abroad…we’re here to provide whatever back-up we can 🙂

    lots of love to you both, Abby and Mason

  14. Mary,

    Cheryl shared your blog w me today because of your news, I hope you don’t mind. First off, I am so sorry to hear about this difficult time; I can not even imagine how you feel and how scared you must be… but I am so glad to hear that its treatable and not as serious as it may sound. A safe and speedy recovery for you are in my thoughts and prayers… I want you to know that, but that’s not all I want to say – as I read your last post, I found myself continuing to read on… and on. I read almost every post!! I just found it so inspiring and heartfelt – I laughed and felt through your voice some of your experiences… when you came into my office last year and told me you were moving to Korea, I thought you were nuts! But knowing you, even for a short time, I knew you would find your way anywhere in any situation. I knew how passionate you were about everything you did and how much that energy was contagious to everyone who came into contact with you…. but I also knew from first hand experience how hard it is and how lonely it can be to move across the world and start over in a foreign land. I admit, i was a little scared for you… but now that I’ve read your blog; I see now that you have even more heart and fight in you than I ever knew… so don’t let this hurdle bring you down, don’t stop fighting… keep seeing the positive and know that now too, you will be ok. Keep taking journeys – whether its for some Italian meal you hope to prepare or to see the sunset, you will look back on this time in your life with pride of accomplishment and a more diverse but defined sense of self than had you not been faced with such journeys – I did. I am very proud of you and think of you often. Please tell Andrew I say hi, you are very lucky to have eachother and to have love. Big hug and please keep writing.


  15. Love and prayers from your Omaha family

  16. Mary & Andrew:

    Thinking of you both and will say many prayers to help get you thru all of this. Take your time and only you can make the decision to where you want to go.
    I will stay in contact with Aunt Dee and your mom.

    All my love

  17. Mary Mary . . . I love you . . . always. And I know that you will handle this obstacle as you have handled so many others in your beautiful, young, life. God is good. He will lead you through this ordeal and YOU WILL BE FINE! I just know it. Please KNOW that you are always in my heart and will be in my prayers throughout this ordeal.

    “For whosoever shall say unto the mountain, ‘Remove thyself (the tumor) and go back unto the sea.’ And shall not doubt it in his heart, but believeth that whatsoever he shall sayeth with his mouth shall come to pass . . . he (she) shall have whatsoever he shall say.” BELIEVE. I do. SAY IT! You WILL be fine.

    You are loved . . . never forget it! Aunt Mary

  18. Mary – My prayers are with you! I’m sure this is so scary. Know that you have lots of prayers coming from the US.

  19. Mary Mary,,, since you have proven yourself one heck of a woman, fighter, life lover, etc etc etc, I am convinced you will attack this new journey with a fierce spirit. Fight away girlfriend. Sounds like your prognosis is very good and with that sweet man Andrew by your side, you can beat anything. Keep your happy smile on and find the best people you can to fix you. We all love you .


  20. Pingback: Seoulmates | Seoul Searching

  21. Mary! I had no idea… I am going to keep reading to find out more. I am glad you are alive and well now though..

  22. Pingback: Me to the Rescue « The Choqs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s